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Student Sues College After Being Punished for Her Anti-Gay Language

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posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:17 AM
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originally posted by: hounddoghowlie
so if this is true maybe she should win. if they ask you to do that and that's what she did. just because you don't like it doesn't mean you should punish her for it,


So, is every negative comment or disagreement with a student's paper considered "punishment"?


by violating her civil right to free speach.


Her free speech has not been violated! Only if Congress makes a law that prohibited her from legally saying what she did, could we say her free speech was violated. Free speech doesn't mean you can say whatever you want without consequence! How was her "free speech" violated???




posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:29 AM
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The student critiqued a character in a movie by using the words "perverse attraction to the same sex" and "barren womb" and that's supposed to be some kind of hate speech? It's too bad the article doesn't link to the actual paper and comments by the professor because that's not enough to determine anything.

I don't see how someone's opinion about a movie character can be considered hateful. Maybe the woman did have a perverse attraction to the same sex. People can have perverse attraction to anything, even towards the opposite sex. You'd have to define "perverse." Even if she considers any kind of attraction to the same sex as "perverse" she has the right to that opinion--it's a freaking movie.

I am completely pro gay rights. I can't wrap my head around why people are so against two people being together regardless of gender and it makes me sick. But if all we have to go on is what is written in that article, I don't see how that can be considered hate speech.
edit on 17-10-2014 by CoherentlyConfused because: typo



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:39 AM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
a reply to: JIMC5499

So you agree that the teacher has every right not to grade her hate filled assignment then...

If people have the ability not to listen what about reading?


No, he should do his job and grade it based on the merits of whether or not fulfilled the requirements of the assignment, not that it "offended" him or not. Plenty of offensive screeds written are written in just a hateful manner that not only get good grades but are taught by professors in said hateful manner in university. The only difference is that this hate is not politically correct but hatred and stuff like "all men are rapists" and "heterocage" and so forth and so on are politically correct examples of hateful vitriol.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:41 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

originally posted by: hounddoghowlie
so if this is true maybe she should win. if they ask you to do that and that's what she did. just because you don't like it doesn't mean you should punish her for it,


So, is every negative comment or disagreement with a student's paper considered "punishment"?


by violating her civil right to free speach.


Her free speech has not been violated! Only if Congress makes a law that prohibited her from legally saying what she did, could we say her free speech was violated. Free speech doesn't mean you can say whatever you want without consequence! How was her "free speech" violated???


That may be true, however, we do have examples of "first amendment free speech violations" in universities from the opposite side of the isle that are accepted and taken up by the courts.

I think that unless this case is treated like others have in the past, then we have unequal treatment.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:42 AM
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originally posted by: CoherentlyConfused
The student critiqued a character in a movie by using the words "perverse attraction to the same sex"


The article says she described lesbianism as perverse, not a character.



Even if she considers any kind of attraction to the same sex as "perverse" she has the right to that opinion-


Yes, she has the right to that opinion. And no one has taken her right away. Hate speech isn't illegal, as far as I know. She can still express that, but she might suffer consequences.

I agree with you, we need more information before coming to a conclusion about the situation. This is the student's side only.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:45 AM
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originally posted by: NavyDoc
That may be true, however, we do have examples of "first amendment free speech violations" in universities from the opposite side of the isle that are accepted and taken up by the courts.


I don't know what you mean "the other side of the isle"... Just because a court accepts a case doesn't mean it's valid.



I think that unless this case is treated like others have in the past, then we have unequal treatment.


How have they been treated? Have any links to precedence?



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:47 AM
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Could someone please explain to me what is so offensive about the word "barren"? Obviously something is flying over my head here.



Later, Pompeo met with Hinkley’s supervisor, Susan Dever, chairwoman of the cinematic arts department. Pompeo was told that the use of “barren” was both inappropriate and offensive.

The upshot of the meeting was that Pompeo was forced to drop Hinkley’s class and instead take an independent studies class under Dever. According to Pompeo’s lawsuit, however, she fared no better under Dever, who allegedly threatened her with repercussions for using certain language, specifically the word “barren.”



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: Bone75

The only thing I can figure is that she called lesbians barren, suggesting that they're gay because they can't have kids? I have no idea, really.

edit: Deaf Alien's reasoning below makes a lot more sense. LOL

Seems she's having trouble in her new class, too... Hmmm...
edit on 10/17/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: Bone75



Could someone please explain to me what is so offensive about the word "barren"? Obviously something is flying over my head here.


I suppose they took it to mean that their relationship or lesbianism are "fruitless", "unproductive", and "useless".


I agree with other posters here... context is needed.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:12 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

How have they been treated? Have any links to precedence?





. Hardy v. Jefferson Community College, 260 F.3d 671 (6th Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 535 U.S. 970 (2002). In Hardy, an African-American student and a "prominent citizen" complained about the allegedly offensive language used by Kenneth E. Hardy, an adjunct communications professor, in a lecture on language and social constructivism in his "Introduction to Interpersonal Communication" course. The students were asked to examine how language "is used to marginalize minorities and other oppressed groups in society," and the discussion included examples of such terms as "bitch," "faggot," and “'n-word'." While the administration had previously informed Professor Hardy that he was scheduled to teach courses in the fall, after the controversy erupted the administration told him that no classes were available.

A federal appeals court concluded that the topic of the class – "race, gender, and power conflicts in our society" – was a matter of public concern and held that "a teacher’s in-class speech deserves constitutional protection." The court opined: "Reasonable school officials should have known that such speech, when it is germane to the classroom subject matter and advances an academic message, is protected by the First Amendment."


Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District
After Barnette, the student First Amendment rights front was quiet in the courts, until the case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District in 1969 shattered the peace and made sure there would be controversy for a long time to come. The Vietnam War was raging full force when the students at a Des Moines, Iowa, high school decided to wear black armbands to school one day to protest what they saw as an unjust struggle. The school administrators learned of their plan and passed a rule banning black armbands from the school and suspending any student caught wearing one. The students wore the armbands anyway, and as a result were suspended. They sued the school district.

In writing in favor of the students for the majority, Justice Abe Fortas wrote these iconic words: "It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate … School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students. Students in school as well as out of school are 'persons' under our Constitution. They are possessed of fundamental rights which the State must respect … In the absence of specific showing of constitutionally valid reasons to regulate their speech, students are entitled to freedom of expression of their views."






The next day, Churchill filed a lawsuit in state court claiming that the firing was retribution for his expressing politically unpopular views.[62] The jury in Churchill's suit for reinstatement weighed the university's claims of academic misconduct per jury instructions it received in the case. As Stanley Fish said, "It was the jury’s task to determine whether Churchill’s dismissal would have occurred independently of the adverse political response to his constitutionally protected statements."[63] The jury found that the alleged misconduct would not have led to Churchill's firing and rejected the university's academic misconduct claim as the grounds for dismissal. On April 1, 2009, a Colorado jury found that Churchill had been wrongly fired, and awarded $1 in damages





Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 108 S.Ct. 876, 99 L.Ed.2d. 41 (1988): Hustler Magazine published a parody of a liquor advertisement in which Rev. Jerry Falwell described his "first time" as a drunken encounter with his mother in an outhouse. A unanimous Supreme Court held that a public figure had to show actual malice in order to recover for intentional infliction of emotional distress as a result of a parody in a magazine. The Court held that political cartoons and satire such as this parody "have played a prominent role in public and political debate. And although the outrageous caricature in this case "is at best a distant cousin of political cartoons," the Court could see no standard to distinguish among types of parodies that would not harm public discourse, which would be poorer without such satire


Now Hustler vs Falwell is not an example of academia, but to demonstrate that the Court ruled on a CIVIL lawsuit without a single law being written by Congress. If one thinks that first amendment cases are only being heard based on the actual wording of the First Amendment, then you are incorrect.

The First Amendment Center and the ACLU websites have some very good reads on the subject.
edit on 17-10-2014 by NavyDoc because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: NavyDoc

You didn't leave a link, so I can't read what it's all about, but you may be right.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:41 AM
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originally posted by: hounddoghowlie
i find it interesting why you didn't quote what the judge Chief U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo said when she allowed the suit to go forward.

from your story.



Armijo's ruling questioned whether a "university can have a legitimate pedagogical interest in inviting students to engage in `incendiary' and provocative speech on a topic and then punishing a student because he or she did just that." "Simply because Plaintiff expressed views about homosexuality that some people may deem offensive does not derive her views of First Amendment protection," the judge wrote.


so if this is true maybe she should win. if they ask you to do that and that's what she did. just because you don't like it doesn't mean you should punish her for it, by violating her civil right to free speach.



So students should now be in charge of the class?

If a student doesn't agree with an assignment, student has the right to alter it or refuse to follow it?

Aren't these elective classes?



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:44 AM
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originally posted by: Petros312

According to her lawyer, the premise of the law suit is that colleges are supposed to be places that encourage free speech and debate.


That's long since been abandoned. Colleges aren't interested in encouraging free speech and debate. They are intensely focused on indoctrination of ideas and viewpoints they deem appropriate, true and correct. I have little sympathy for students like this one because if she had even half a brain, she'd have long since realized that the appropriate goal for a college student is to make the highest grades possible and to exit college with the best possible average. Further, she'd have realized that the path to the highest possible grades is to parrot back and affirm the tenets of the course professor. And if she were capable of "thinking" she'd have realized arguing with anyone, much less tenured ideologues, is entirely pointless because no one has ever successfully changed their minds about any of their core beliefs.

Thus, I'm led to conclude that indeed, College was an inappropriate place for this student to be. She simply lacks the requisite mental acuity to make it through 4 years of College.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:48 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
a reply to: NavyDoc

You didn't leave a link, so I can't read what it's all about, but you may be right.


Don't get me wrong. I think that First Amendment cases are abused and she (the student in the OP) might not have a case, but that there have been a lot of cases out there.

Take Snyder v. Phelps


On October 31, 2007, the jury found for the Plaintiff and awarded Snyder US$2.9 million in compensatory damages, later adding a decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and an additional $2 million for causing emotional distress (a total of $10.9 million). The Phelpses said that despite the verdict, the church would continue to picket military funerals.[13] On February 4, 2008, Bennett upheld the verdict but reduced the punitive damages from $8 million to $2.1 million, to take into consideration the resources of WBC. The total judgment then stood at $5 million. Court liens were ordered on church buildings and Phelps's law office in an attempt to ensure that the damages were paid.[14]

An appeal by WBC was heard on September 24, 2009. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the jury verdict and set aside the lower court's $5 million judgment. The Fourth Circuit ruled that the lower court had erred by instructing the jury to decide a question of law rather than fact (specifically, whether or not the speech in question was protected by the First Amendment). It also ruled that the protest signs and language on WBC's website were rhetorical hyperbole and figurative expression, rather than assertions of fact, so they were a form of protected speech.[8][15] On March 30, 2010, the Court further ordered Albert Snyder to pay the court costs for the defendants, an amount totaling $16,510. People all over the country, including political commentator Bill O'Reilly agreed to cover the costs, pending appeal. O'Reilly also pledged to support all of Snyder's future court costs against the Phelps.[16]



I know everybody hates Wiki but it actually ahs a decent unbiased summary of the case.

I can't see how it is in any way, shape, or form a First Amendment case.

Let's look at the First Amendment again:



Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances


Firstly, the issue had nothing to do with the government or any agents of the government.
Secondly, there were no laws, rules, or regulations involved.
Thirdly, it was a civil case between two private citizens.

Yet, the court took it as a First Amendment case and found for Westboro Baptist based on the First Amendment. Thus we see that courts do take cases based on the first amendment where there are no laws made nor agents of the government involved. I'm not agreeing with it, just pointing it out.

In this case, my personal opinion is that there are obnoxious dicks in academia and the student should just drop the damned class and roll on. You have to endure a lot of idiotic tripe from professors whilst navigating the halls of academia. You can either deal with it, survive it, get your degree and go on with your life or let it get to you and collapse.

However, when looking at past cases, one can argue that the professor, being an agent of a governmental entity (assuming it is not a totally private university although that does not seem to matter given several past cases as discussed above) did violate her free speech if she was denigrated or somehow punished based purely on political views. Not saying that I agree with it, but just noting that stuff like that has happened in the past and all she has to do to prove her point of unequal treatment, is go down to the women's studies department and pull out handfuls of papers that are just as hateful and just as vitriolic and get great grades, assuming that her paper just wasn't crap from a paper writing perspective anyway.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:49 AM
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a reply to: Deaf Alien

from natures point of view it seems barren is a kind word, more like extinction of that specific genome.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: Annee

she didn't alter the class, she gave her opinion on the subject and the teacher didn't like it.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:53 AM
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originally posted by: chishuppu
a reply to: Annee

she didn't alter the class, she gave her opinion on the subject and the teacher didn't like it.


Got it! I re-read it, realized I read it wrong. Tried to delete post, but iPad having a mind of its own.

IPad froze. Wouldn't let me edit post.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:54 AM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
Freedom of Speech shouldn't cover hate speech...

I'm sure even the founding fathers had that in a contextual sense when they wrote the constitution!


Another reprobate!


Free speech should cover ALL speech

the less we like what's being said, the more we need the first amendment



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:55 AM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
a reply to: Hoosierdaddy71

Yes I do have a clue, its in the article...
She called lesbianism perverse...
Read the link!


...and I agree

so what?



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:56 AM
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originally posted by: acacko

originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
Freedom of Speech shouldn't cover hate speech...

I'm sure even the founding fathers had that in a contextual sense when they wrote the constitution!


Another reprobate!


Free speech should cover ALL speech

the less we like what's being said, the more we need the first amendment


From the government, it's agencies, and it's institutions. A private individual should be perfectly able to fire someone for what he said, for example.



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